In Dronten lies Koen's farm, where traditional and organic agriculture come together. In an interview, Koen shares his personal experiences and insights about the future of agriculture, where traditional and organic practices complement each other, and how organic and traditional farming are getting closer together.
"The mix between traditional and organic is actually quite pleasant," he explains. He emphasizes that his approach stemmed from both practical considerations and a conscious choice. Inheriting the farm from his parents, Koen had the opportunity to continue the business. While the trend towards organic farming was growing, Koen felt that it would be too quick to completely abandon traditional methods. He decided to find a balance between both approaches.
This way of working allows him to gain experience in using biological crop protection. As a result, he acquires a lot of knowledge and is prepared to fully transition to biological crop protection when the government decides that certain traditional methods can no longer be applied.
"10 years ago, organic farming was miles ahead in terms of sustainability and environmental friendliness, but that gap is getting smaller. In 15 years, I expect there will be no difference at all, especially due to the rapid increase in effective organic methods."
Limitation in usage chemical pesticides
The increasing interest, especially from governmental bodies, in organic farming marks the path to the future. "You grow into it a bit," notes Koen. With the growing availability of knowledge and the number of biological crop protection products, he also sees opportunities for traditional methods to evolve.
Moreover, consumers are becoming increasingly critical. Society expects more and more that agriculture is environmentally friendly and responsible. And that the vegetables consumers eat are safe.
Future of biological crop protection
Koen advocates for a cautious approach, carefully examining effectiveness when it comes to applying crop protection. He emphasizes that the correct application of methods is essential for achieving optimal results. Koen's perspective highlights that effective crop protection remains necessary to prevent crop failures and ensure food supply.
While traditional and organic farming methods are getting closer due to a reduced chemical toolkit, Koen foresees that organic alternatives will thrive, reducing the need for traditional chemical methods.
"In collaboration with Koppert, I see opportunities to adapt my farm to a future where chemical methods will gradually disappear. I believe that the agricultural sector has a natural interest in such solutions, but ignorance and a lack of alternative options still hinder acceptance."
Close collaboration with Koppert
The use of biological crop protection presented challenges, but Koen embraced the change and emphasizes that the effectiveness of products is still the most important for him, regardless of whether they are traditional or organic.
He appreciates the close collaboration with Koppert, which is crucial especially when you start using bio-control solutions. It has helped him deploy organic methods efficiently and effectively, like Trianum against soil-borne diseases such Fusarium and Sclerotinia and beneficial nematodes, Capirel, against onion fly (Delia Antiqua).
The partnership with Koppert also has strengthened his view on organic farming. It also gives him the opportunity to grow alongside Koppert in the development and application of biological crop protection.|
Koen's vision of the future of agriculture is hopeful. He believes that the reduction of chemical methods paves the way for organic alternatives that can complement traditional farming practices. For him, it is clear that chemical-free farming is an inevitable trend, and he is determined to prepare for this new phase of sustainable agriculture. With his farm as a living example, Koen is an inspiration for others striving for more sustainable agriculture."